Vegas Winter 2014 Planning

I’m getting pretty excited about my upcoming winter trip to Vegas. It starts on Oct 6th and ends on December 28th. As my time in Las Vegas has increased over the past several years, my planning has become more detailed and my plans more strategic. I’m not sure where this adventure is leading me, but I’ve become focused on studying Las Vegas and gambling.

TWC Commentary (Clublink)

I live and grew up in Southern Ontario, and the first stock I ever owned was Clublink back when Bruce Simmons was at the helm. I still play many Clublink courses on a regular basis, but I’m not a Clublink member. Below is an off the cuff analysis of what Clublink is part of today. It’s now under the umbrella of TWC which is listed on the TSX and controlled by Morguard’s Rai Sahi.

TWC is essentially two separate operating businesses: golf course operations and rail/port facilities. Its a strange combination, and I wonder whether this is beneficial to shareholders or whether the main driver is Rai Sahi’s ambition? Either way, Sahi is a successful leader and he’ll likely create value for shareholders regardless (and still make some money for himself, since he owns almost 70% of the equity and votes).

Clublink owns and operates 45 golf clubs in three distinct regions (Ontario, Quebec, and Florida). I was at dinner at National Pines, a Clublink course in Barrie Ontario, and our table was commenting on various Clublink courses. One person at our table actually worked in IT for Clublink and mentioned that National Pines was actually just leased and operated by Clublink, and he confirmed that this was also the case for Bond Head. This was confirmed after I examined the AIF for 2013.

Clublink also formerly had an operating agreement with Delta resorts to operate the hotel properties, but this agreement has been mutually terminated, and Clublink will now operate its resort properties internally.

Clublink shared the distribution of its segmented revenue by type, here are the details:

Annual Dues 39.96%
Corporate Events & Daily Fees 22.46%
Food & Beverage 28.80%
Room & Other Merchandise 8.78%

Also, based on the information disclosed in their AIF, Clublink is achieving an operating margin of about 30% from its golf courses. Labour represents about half of the operating expenses. Long term borrowings represent about 55% of property, plant, and equipment. Would it be possible for Clublink to create a REIT to leaseback the golf properties back to Clublink?

Clublink has some mortgages against its properties ranging in rate from 6.2% to 8.3% and the mortgages are laddered from maturities 3 to 15 years.

Deep into note 13 to the most recent quarterly financial statements, there are details of related party transactions. Strategically, TWC has an open revolving credit agreement open to Morguard Corporation for $30,000,000 at TWC’s borrowing rate plus 10 bps. More importantly, TWC make a similar facility availably to Paros (a holding company owned by Sahi) for $5,000,000 at prime plus 1% and the same terms are provided by Paros to TWC. Sahi is a very strategic operator. There are also officer loans outstanding of about $1.2 million bearing interest at 3% (a pretty favourable rate).

St Jude Classic & Lyoness 2014

Its Wednesday morning, and as per my usual strategy with betting on golf,  I have been working orders on a bunch of 100 to 1 long-shots for the past few days.  I’ve been filled on 3 players in each tournament. Now I have entered orders to exit above the current market price.  If I’m not filled on these backing bets by the time the tournament starts, I’ll let them ride.

The field for Lyoness is a little shallow this week.  Joost Luiten is favoured at 7 and the coolest golfer in the world, Miguel Angel Jimenez, is in the field at 12.

There are a bunch of big names playing this week in the St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind.  Dustin Johnson is the favourite at 17, and Lee Westwood, Harris English, and Patrick Reed are also playing.  Phil Mickelson is also playing, and fans will be looking for something to cheer about on the course.

Golf – Big Loss

So I took my biggest loss ever in betting on PGA golf this week.  -$264.  That means I’m only up $58 for the year.  I think my mistake was trying to fiddle with the odds a little too much down the stretch.  It seemed like Kevin Na was out of contention as he was in the clubhouse at -13 and several players still on the course were -14 and -15.  So I so I sold Na to my max exposure -$500.  But just my luck, the leaders fell apart, and the tournament went into a playoff between Na and Matsuyama (who eventually won).  Maybe I should stop trying to fiddle with the odds and just let them run?

Golf Betting

  • 14 tournaments

  • total win $225

  • standard diviation 23

  • average 24

  • highest win $65 (Masters) – I traded thru the whole tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

My biggest loss was -$77 at the Byron Nelson.  The tournament had a shallow field, which may have contributed to a 100 to 1 long-shot eventually winning. I sold Brenden Todd @ 100 on the Tuesday leading up to play on Thursday. Brenden Todd eventually won the whole tournament. My initial liability was $396.  I reduced this risk by spreading the liability to the field during play on Saturday and Sunday. As the tournament was being played on Saturday and Sunday, I would make markets for the various players with long shot chances at winning.  I would start the market by laying the long-shot, then as time went by, and players dropped out of contention, I would transfer these profits to the leader where my liability stood.